Cloud Relief 1 & Cloud Relief 2
Cloud Relief 1 and Cloud Relief 2 are part of a digital feng shui exhibition by Sara Ludy titled Subsurface Hell. White, black, purple and green shapes flow continuously on the 85" screens, creating large-scale abstract paintings in motion. With measured simplicity the undulating organic forms create a hypnotic rhythm and the 'clouds' begin to lull the viewer into a relaxed state. The muted tones hint at landscape, the shifting of the shapes suggests weather-system radar, and with the title 'cloud,' the work appears to be a representation of our atmospheric clouds.
At first glance, Cloud Relief 1 and Cloud Relief 2 are literal in translation; however once placed in context with the other works of Subsurface Hell, the concept of ‘cloud’ becomes virtual. Both of the works utilize computer algorithms to generate cloud textures. Instead of representing the atmospheric ‘cloud,’ they embody the digital representation of ‘the cloud;’ a network of servers that allow access to and storage of billions of bits of digital data. The fluidity of the work signifies energy flow and the origin of virtual data as part of the digital ‘cloud.’ Poetically described by Amelia Rina,
“The animations of swirling clouds…they’re made up of 0s and 1s instead of hydrogen and oxygen.” Rina, Amelia (2016, February 2) Hyperallergic – Turning the Digital into the Material, with Feng Shui.
Ludy’s work is greatly influenced by music, landscapes, architecture, interior design and décor. Her digital projects have been developed at the intersection of both the physical and virtual space. Cloud Relief 1 and Cloud Relief 2 are a clear departure from Ludy’s prior projects that focus on structure and the linear forms of architecture and interior spaces. Her most recent exhibition, Subsurface Hell, is organically structured. The lines between shapes become blurred; forms less literal and more abstract. This juxtaposition is most evident when contrasting Cloud Relief 1 and Cloud Relief 2 to her previous work in 2012, entitled Rooms.
Rooms is clearly and strongly influenced by both architecture and interior design and is in stark contrast of the flowing and organic shapes presented in Cloud Relief 1 and Cloud Relief 2. However, each of the artworks utilize patterns and textures that mimic interior finishes like textiles and wallpaper; and both have fluidity of movement as their intangible abstract shapes and material structures float through the digital space.
Also featured by Bitforms gallery, the work of Jeffrey Blondes, Sky Lines (1 Hour Film, 30 Second Extracts), 2015 and Sky Grid (1 Hour Film Extracts), 2015 are similarly based within elements of nature and the visual inspiration of the atmospheric ‘cloud.’ Conversely, the forms in Blondes work are linear, much less organic than the free-flowing shapes in Ludy’s work, yet still undulate in a similar never ending fashion. Both artworks present digital data as abstract and unidentifiable, constantly altering and shifting our perspective.
Cloud Relief 1 and Cloud Relief 2 algorithms allow us to reimagine the traditional appearance of digital data. Ludy’s work infuses 2D imagery with an energy that directly addresses the concept of digital data flow as it travels through our virtual space. Ludy transforms the flat, motionless images and organizes the elements in such a way that allows the rigid to become fluid and the overwhelming, serene. The data path is structural, the origin of the source material is structural, however Ludy has gathered and presented the data in a format that addresses the culture of today’s digital user, swimming in a vast sea of information.
“Ludy’s artworks are always highly-charged with a magical, mesmerizing aura present in both form and substance.” Palop, Benoit (2016, January 19) The Creators Project – Enter a ‘Subsurface Hell’ in Sara Ludy’s New Show
Cloud Relief 1 & Cloud Relief 2 were part of the following exhibition:
Sara Ludy: Subsurface Hell
January 7- February 7, 2016